Informal Survey: Are your ducks laying eggs with little or no shell?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Amiga, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I've been seeing this pop up here and there this year, and don't remember so much of it last year (but then, memory isn't always 100%).

    Last year I chalked it up to first year laying. This year, I talked to the vet (we seem to have more of it than I recall from last year), put the ducks on a bit more calcium supplement and checked that they're getting D and phosphorus. Still one or two soft-shells most days from nine ducks.


    So if you're up to it, could you offer:

    Number of ducks
    Number of softshelled eggs
    Any comments that might help, such as this year is their first year, or it's happening more or less this year, or you've found a solution.

    (Edit to Subject line to remove hyphens - technical concern [​IMG] )
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011

  2. learycow

    learycow Crowing

    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    Khaki Campbells, welsh harlequins, and rouens (all penned together)
    7 campbells, 2 WH, 2 Rouens (campbells are 1 year old, the rest were hatched this Jaunuary)
    1-2 soft shelled eggs every week

    Definitely more soft shells this year than previous. Not sure why, their diet hasn't changed, their environment is the same, I have no idea why this is happening!
    No solution either. I've been feeding oyster shells, but so far it hasn't changed anything.
  3. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Songster

    Mar 26, 2010
    Upstate NY
    6 Mallards (4 laying females), feeding game bird grower pellets, occasional chopped tomatoes as treats.

    They liked to suck in the mud by their pool.

    No soft eggs at all. (They only laid for me one year then taken by a mink in one night), so data is for 1 year only.
  4. newbyduckmom

    newbyduckmom Songster

    Jul 18, 2011
    Snohomish County, WA
    Only have one Magpie hen that has been laying for 8 days....7 eggs, all very firm shells thankfully. I thought for sure we would have issues, but so far there have been none.

  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    9 runners, about six eggs a day, but one or two of those are soft shelled.

    Feeding organic laying mash, oyster shell free choice, about three ounces of calcium gluconate and a half a cup of cat kibble in feed, peas for treats, greens in water a couple of times a week, supervised walks twice a day where they eat worms, slugs, bugs, the occasional leafy green.

    I think we have at least twice as many soft shelled eggs this year as last. They are 18 months old.

    Difference from last year: they take their foraging walks this year. Last year they were limited to their 10'x16' pen plus the 64 sf house and porch. I suspected they were nibbling on the rhubarb (oxalic acid), so I fenced that spot off. Still not much improvement with the eggs.
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Breed: Muscovy
    Number of Ducks: Over 100 but not sure how many are laying. Too many to keep up with
    Number of soft shelled eggs: 0 - I have never had a problem with soft or no shelled eggs.
    Comments: I don't have any suggestions. I just feed the layers Flock Raiser with a mixture of BOSS. They also free range and get fruits and vegetables every day.
  7. 70%cocoa

    70%cocoa Songster

    Feb 24, 2011
    Canberra, Australia
    Blue Swedish, 6 ducks and 2 drakes. 5 of the ducks are in their first season and have been laying for about three months now. One laid two soft shelled eggs when she first started but all her subsequent eggs (and all other eggs from the other ducks) have been normal in every way. I also have a 2 year old duck who hasn't come into lay yet.

    Mine eat a breeder ration of one of the best quality feeds you can buy here. Plus lots of greens and peas and at least an hour's free range time daily. More on weekends. Swimming water all day in their pens.

  8. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    Indian Runners -

    First and second year layers.

    Only a very occasional soft shelled egg - most often laid in the evening, no egg the nest day. It seems that they will just drop one early sometimes before the shell coating has been formed. Most common time to happen is when I am penning birds for a show or auction and the constant movement and herding to pick up certain birds will cause a bit of stress.

    Utility Pekin

    4 years old will lay a soft shelled egg once every two weeks, she is kept in a different area than the Runners- I dont take too much notice of her as I do not incubate her eggs- and collect them once a week as I do let her sit if she goes broody.

    Your runners have a great diet Amiga, certainly doesnt sound like they could be deficient.
  9. toadbriar

    toadbriar Songster

    Jan 28, 2010
    central massacheezits
    Anconas, 8 hens 2 drakes. 16 months old, mostly. 7-8 eggs a day. Maybe 5 or 6 soft shells total last year. 3-4 so far this year. Feeding free choice Blue Seal Layer and oyster shell, plus pond foraging all day. In the winter they get veggies and sunflower seeds. They're penned at night and usually turned out in the morning by 9 am. Definitely see soft shells when I don't replace the oyster shell.

    Amiga I wonder if you might be seeing soft eggs from just one duck, every day? Can you tell at all? Maybe her system is wonky.

  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England

    At first it was often Sieben I saw laying the too-early eggs. She was obviously feeling heavy in the afternoon, walking slowly, panting a little, then she'd pop out an egg and within a few minutes was trotting around happily. She visited the vet, and was given neoglucan for a few weeks. A couple of weeks after that, she seemed to have started laying regular eggs again. Hers are quite distinctive - the largest of all and almost spherical.

    Vier lays soft ones about half the time. But I've also seen Acht drop a soft one. Don't know about the others.

    So, yes, maybe Vier's just out of sorts, calcium-wise. I am continuing the liquid calcium supplement for everyone. Maybe we need to get Vier on the neoglucan for a while. She's such a treasure. Gives me hugs, sits in my lap, talks to me all the time. She's chocolate, and has developed golden feathers - I think that's because she hasn't molted in a while. A few of the runners haven't molted since last year.

    Thanks to all who have participated in this. I'm sure I'm just sensitive to this because it seems this year we've had so many, and I don't want to lose ducks to a nutrient deficiency.

    When Neun died I sent her little body for a necropsy to make sure we weren't dealing with some source of toxins - nope - it was peritonitis.

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